Chartered Accountant to Terrorist: The Yakub Memon Story

Yakub Abdul Razak Memon was an Indian terrorist and a former chartered accountant(license was cancelled in 1993, following his involvement) who was convicted over his involvement in the 1993 Bombay Bombings by Special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Court  on 27 July 2007. Yakub Memon was the brother of one of the prime suspects in the bombings, Tiger Memon. His appeals and petitions for clemency were all rejected and he was executed by hanging on 30 July 2015 at 06:35 AM in Nagpur jail.

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Lets have a look at the comprehensive timeline:

Mar 12, 1993: A series of 13 explosions rock Mumbai resulting in 257 death and injuries to 713 others.
Apr 19: Actor Sanjay Dutt (accused number 117) arrested.
Nov 4: Over 10,000 page-long primary chargesheet filed against 189 accused, including Dutt.
Nov 19: Case handed over to CBI.
Apr 1, 1994: TADA court shifted from city’s sessions and civil court to a separate building inside the premises of the Arthur Road Central Jail.
Apr 10, 1995: 26 accused discharged by the TADA court and charges framed against the remaining. Supreme Court discharges two more accused – travel agent Abu Asim Azmi (now Samajwadi Party Member of Parliament) and Amjed Meher Baux.
Apr 19: Trial commences.
Apr-June: Charges framed against the accused.
June 30: Two accused, Mohammed Jameel and Usman Jhankanan, turn approvers in the case.
Oct 14: Dutt granted bail by the Supreme Court.
Mar 23, 1996: Judge J N Patel transferred and elevated as a high court judge.
Mar 29: P D Kode designated as a special TADA judge for the case.
Oct 2000: Examination of 684 prosecution witnesses ends.
Mar 9-July 18, 2001: Accused record their statements.
Aug 9: Prosecution begins arguments.
Oct 18: Prosecution completes arguments.
Nov 9: Defence starts arguments.
Aug 22, 2002: Defence closes arguments.
Feb 20, 2003: Dawood gang member Ejaz Pathan produced in court.
Mar 20, 2003: Mustafa Dossa’s remand proceedings and trial separated.
Sept 2003: Trial ends. Court reserves Judgement.
June 13, 2006: Gangster Abu Salem’s trial separated.
Aug 10: Judge P D Kode says judgement will be pronounced on September 12.
Sept 12: Court starts delivering the judgement. Pronounces four members of the Memon family guilty, acquits three. 12 convicts awarded death penalty. 20 given life sentence.
Nov 1, 2011: SC begins hearing on appeals filed by the 100 convicts as well as the state.
Aug 29, 2012: SC reserves its order on the appeals.
Mar 21, 2013: SC upholds death sentence of convict Yakub Memon, brother of Tiger Memon, and commutes death sentence of 10 convicts to life term. Life imprisonment of 16 out of 18 convicts also upheld.
May 2014: President Pranab Mukherjee rejects Yakub’s mercy plea
Jun 2, 2014: SC stays Memon’s execution on plea seeking review petitions in death cases to be heard in open court instead of chambers.
Apr 9, 2015: SC dismisses Memon’s petition seeking review of death sentence which was upheld by apex court.
Jul 21, 2015: SC rejects Memon’s curative petition, the last legal remedy to avoid execution of death sentence.
Jul 21, 2015: Hours after SC rejects Memon’s petition, he files mercy plea to Maharashtra Governor.
Jul 23, 2015: Memon’s moves SC with a petition seeking stay on his execution scheduled for July 30.
Jul 29, 2015: Supreme Court rejects Memon’s plea for staying execution, upholds dismissal of curative petition.
Jul 29, 2015: He files fresh mercy plea to President.
Jul 29, 2015: Maharashtra Governor rejects mercy plea, President also turns it down.
July 30, 2015: Memon files fresh petition before Supreme Court seeking stay on execution. SC rejects it in the wee hours,* and he is finally excecuted in Nagpur Jail at 6: 35 AM in the morning.

Yakub Memon was an average Indian, had received the best of education, had a flourishing practice as Chartered Accountant, stable home, stable income , family, on the face of it he looked like an average Indian Citizen, who was leading a decent life. What compelled him to channel money for such terrorist activities is what pops in our minds first, was it simply because of his religion? was it because of the greed for more money? was it that blood allegiance mattered more to his brother Tiger Memon or was it because allegiance to his religion mattered more than that to his country? Questions are endless.

I generally abhor people who mix terrorism with religion, condemn it with all my might becasue terrorism has no religion, but Yakub Memon case is a different story altogether. The fact remains that he didn’t come from a background that compelled him to become a terrorist , he wasn’t poor, or raised in an environment that brainwashed him into supporting the terrorist propoganda, he wasn’t a minority either, the simple reason he helped Dawood Ibrahim and his brother Tiger Memon in siphoning funds to support terror training for the 1993 Bombay bombings was greed, on of the seven deadly sins.

There has been speculation going around that he had ‘surrendered’ himself in Nepal is what is being said, but according to the Police Reports he was trying to escape to Karachi before the Nepal police arrested him on suspicion, and this goes out for all the anti- death penalty activists who claim that it was because of his righteousness that he ‘surrendered’ himself, and use this flawed piece of fact as a reason to say that he should not be hanged, the only reason he bothered coming back to India was because his family and the fact that he believed that the flaws in the judicial system would keep him from being hanged, and we all know how that ended. He was trying to flee, there was no sense of righteousness or regret on his part, all he cared was his own safety and that was it.

What I do find strange is the that those pro-death penalty being tagged as ‘Adarsh liberals’, please do tell what is so ‘Adarsh liberal’ about this? from where did that angle even come? we all have our own viewpoints, which the country and the law respects, and so should those misinformed and shooting from the mouth.

Those against Yakub’s hanging my question is this: he was given death penalty in 2013, what were you doing then? sleeping? why was it only that during the end moment 5 days before his hanging did all your ‘sympathetic’ hearts come to life? what were you all doing two years. All that aside, if you all are so against ‘death penalty’ why haven’t you been making efforts to abolish it? or do you only make it when someone high profile is being executed? The Constitution of our country does respect your opinion, you should also have respect for the law of the country as well.

Many are saying the Yakub Menon should not have been punished for the acts of his brother, Tiger Memon, and Mob terrorist, Dawood Ibrahim, as they were the mastermind; let me ask you this, despite knowing the fact that the it was funding terror activities? he was well aware that this money was being used for planning the terror activities in Bombay, even that did not stop him from being a part in it, did he not possess an ounce of consciousness knowing that people will die? families will loose their loved ones? the people they depend on? the fact that a child will become motherless or fatherless? the fact that someones child will die, whereas he could have his/her whole life in front of him? People lost something that no power could return to them, our Police force lost their members, people died, DIED, and not just one or two of them, but Two Hundred and Fifty Seven of them! did Yakub Memon lack so much consciousness that playing an active part in the Death of so many people mean nothing to him? How do you suggest that my dear activists? Please do tell!

Many are citing ‘due process of law’, let me ask you all something again, the case has been going on for two decades, why didn’t you all bother raising your voice then? This case was debated deliberated at every level , up-to the very highest level of our judiciary, he filed a mercy petition with President of India TWICE, just to have it rejected, our Supreme Court opened at 3 AM in the morning to ensure that all processes of law have been followed, giving a decision holding his order of his execution, so please do tell how the ‘due process of law’ was not made available to him. rather, if all the critiques could actually focus on the cases where unjust treatment was vetted out to other’s those actually in need, rather than focusing on high profile cases just for publicity, they would actually being doing something useful, but alas, if only.

You call it ‘barbaric’, I agree, but sometimes being barbaric helps, but not always, this is the only point on which I agree with my fellow Human Right activists, but please do tell how can you expect reformation of an enemy of the state and feel safe if he was let out in the public again? I am sure you wouldn’t. One cannot understand the pain of the victim who went through such an ordeal, those who have to live with scars. Many argue that this a misuse of power, isn’t using your knowledge to kill so many people a misuse too? Should he have been executed, yes, those who disagree, I respect your opinion, and I agree that the decision to take a life should not be an easy one, but let me remind you that there was nothing easy about this.the case went on for more than two decades, people waited for Justice for more than two decades, he committed the an act against his own nation, on his own home, against his own people. The lowlifes who are trying to politicize it, communalize it etc, don’t even deserve a comment.

All in all I agree with the course of things, I agree with fact that he deserved to pay the price for his involvment, but justice still remains to be delivered and it will end only after the execution of Dawood Ibrahim only.

May the lord have mercy on his soul, is all that I can say.

*NDTV Yakub Menon: Execution to hanging


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